Hello Yoga. (Body Appreciation – 4 Week Series)

Hello Yoga – 4 Week Virtua Body Image Support

 

WHEN: Thursday, March 4- 25, 2021 8:30 PM – 9:30PM This 4-week virtual yoga class series welcomes you to connect with your body through movement and breath.

With gentle curiosity, and slow flowing yoga poses we settle our minds and recognize appreciation for our bodies.

Class themes include: connecting to breath and presence, grounding to our nervous system, being intentional and connecting with the sensations of the body.

Each class will include a journaling and reflection activity.

We will meet on Zoom on Thursday from 8:30 to 9:30 PM MST on March 4, 11, 18 25.

You are welcome to practice with your camera on or off. The yoga classes will not be recorded and are taught from a trauma informed approach. All are welcome. No prior yoga experience required.

Tuition: $45

Please contact support@foodflowthought.com if you have any questions or book a free 15 minute meet and greet.

Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life.

B.K.S Iyengar

The most powerful gift of yoga is to reconnect with ourselves.

“Self,” I do believe it is the most powerful gift yoga has to offer – especially for those in eating disorder recovery. I also believe that if we can cultivate our relationships with this part, we are better positioning ourselves to thrive.

Yoga practice stimulates neuroplasticity, which creates and/or deepens new and/or healthier neural pathways. Yoga also reduces the tendency to revisit and reinforce the existing, problematic neural pathways

Yoga is a process of reconnection and awareness.  When we become more aware in our lives, we  have more choice and freedom. The practice invites gentle curiosity  to explore our choices and freedoms to build confidence  in trusting ourselves and  learning to create new boundaries to take care of ourselves. With this trust, we connect to new or renewed sense of “Self”.

Q& A What is Yoga?

Many of us see yoga for the physical postures. Some may learn that breath is an important part of practice. What many do not know, is that yoga is an 8 limbed path.

  • Yama (Restraints) …
  • Niyama (Observances) …
  • Asana (Posture) …
  • Pranayama (Breath Control) …
  • Pratyahara (Withdrawal of the Senses) …
  • Dharana (Concentration) …
  • Dhyana (Meditation) …
  • Samadhi (Pure Contemplation

The full 8 limbs include mindfulness practices:

– the Yamas and Niyamas that can be observed on the mat and in life – non-harming, truthfulness and surrender are just a few. 

– With the physical and breathing practices, there are a series of steps towards meditation and ultimately enlightenment. These include turning inward, deepening focus and finding effortlessness and bliss.

As important as the actual practices of yoga is the understanding of who we are as humans through the lens of yoga.

 “Pancha Maya Koshas” refers to the five layers of illusion that are part of being human. The “True Self” in yoga is seen as pure energy and consciousness that we all have the power to connect with at any time (though it may take practice).

 The five layers include the physical body, the energetic body, the mental body, the witness and the bliss body.

Why Yoga for Eating Disorders?

Those with eating disorders often find conflict with their physical selves. For so long, there has been disconnect between body and mind. For this reason individuals have avoided this connection has been altogether.

Yoga invites knowing other aspects of self that only each person can identify with (an energetic body, a witness body and even the pure consciousness of their True Self). The sense of self can be is begin healing. 

A feeling at home in our physical bodies, and the first step in trusting our feelings and our own unique experiences in the world.

Yoga teaches self-compassion and resilience

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Trying yoga can feel uncomfortable and confrontational  for some people as they are asked to sit in the direct experience of the body. I invite students during practice to experience all sensations as neither good or bad. Encouraging them to push through the discomfort and do their best to stay in the experience. As potential place to  find a deeper sense of being present (noticing what is happening now vs our thoughts, our pasts, our to do list). A potential place to find pleasure and acceptance in the body. A potential place to learn  how to listen and respect their body’s unique needs or come to feel that their body is whole and capable.

Ultimately, yoga teaches self-compassion and resilience.

Physically, yoga can be tailored to support digestion, relieve constipation and reduce reactivity around the painful process of refeeding. Emotionally, yoga supports a connection with internal resources so that feelings, needs and longings are grounded. With a design that first “opens” the body through stretching and ends with relaxation, stressful thought patterns that perpetuate eating disorders can often fade (at least temporarily). Sometimes, emotions that have burdened us for years are able to be released during or after a yoga practice

What does the research tell us?

Research has shown the following benefits without negative affect on weight:
• a significant decrease in depression, anxiety and body image disturbance[1] 

• lower negative affect before meal times [2] 

• Increased use of coping skills and self soothing, feeling of calm, awareness of internal cues and negative self talk, and positive body image [3] 

One study compared traditional therapy to traditional therapy combined with yoga. Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) scores decreased over time in the yoga group, whereas the group without yoga showed initial decline but then returned to baseline EDE scores by week 12. 

[4] 3 things to keep in mind if developing a yoga for eating disorders program

[5] • The participant has to be engaged with the process in order to benefit. They should always have choices within the practice and the practice should be optional.

• There are many styles of yoga; mindful-based restorative programs tend to be the most effective across studies.
• Yoga interventions are most effective when combined with therapy and should not replace traditional treatment and support.

Conclusion:

Perhaps one of the most healing elements of yoga is that it does not abide by the outcome-based focus of the western world. Yoga cares little about success – it cares little about your caloric intake, the number on the scale or how others perceive you. Yoga cares about what you are cultivating right now through action and intention. For those struggling with eating disorders, the ability to connect with right now can actually mean freedom!

If you are interested adding yoga to your recovery process, be sure to discuss with your physician and treatment team. Look for specialized yoga therapists or yoga teachers who have been trained in trauma-sensitive or restorative yoga. Remember that recovery is not a straight path no matter what tools you are using. I encourage you to trust yourself, stay focused and find the supports that work best for you. Recovery is possible.

References:[1]: Hall, Allison; et al. Use of yoga in outpatient eating disorder treatment: a pilot study. J Eat Disorders. 2016; 4:38[2]Carly R. Pacanowski, Lisa Diers, Ross D. Crosby & Dianne Neumark-Sztainer (2016): Yoga in the treatment of eating disorders within a residential program: A randomized controlled trial, Eating Disorders, DOI: 10.1080/10640266.2016.1237810[3] https://www.emilyprogram.com/blog/discovering-the-role-of-yoga-in-eating-disorder-treatment[4] J Adolesc Health. 2010 Apr;46(4):346-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.08.007. Epub 2009 Nov 3.[5]McMahon, Jennifer E., “The Use of Yoga in Eating Disorder Treatment: Practitioners’ Perspectives” (2014). Master of Social Work Clinical Research Papers. Paper 361.
create tools and practices to help you address the here and now.

By learning how to breathe deeply, stay present, and open our minds to possibilities versus limitations, yoga can shine a bright light on our innate strengths and support us as we take baby steps to make new choices in our recovery. The results can be surprisingly empowering. my goal is to teach you new tools that will help you get unstuck and moving forward.

What You Will Learn

I get that it can feel scary to do or try yoga and be in your body. But I promise I will be there to guide you. No matter what you’re thinking, feeling, or fearing, I’ve been there. I know your struggle because it’s been my struggle. I am dedicated to creating a safe space for you to reconnect with your body in the most positive way possible so that you experience your body as a source of strength.

Benefits

Everyone’s experience with and goals for yoga and eating disorder recovery will be unique, but here is a list of some of the general benefits based on my own life, what clients have shared, and current research.

  • improve overall sense of self
  • quiet the eating disorder voice
  • redefine the relationship with your body
  • cultivate compassion and curiosity about your body
  • explore moments of feeling comfortable in your body
  • strengthen your self-expression
  • reframe how and why we feed our bodies
  • expand your world to be so much more than food, symptoms, and body image
  • help manage depression and anxiety
  • cultivate self-reliance
  • increase self-worth
  • enhance physical strength and health
  • improve organ function
  • calm the central nervous system
  • establish new beliefs grounded in health versus disordered eating
  • complement traditional forms of treatment and therapy

Private Yoga Session- 60 minute ($100)

Individualizes sessions can help tailor to meet your specific needs, goals, and intentions. Many find private instruction to be a more comfortable setting to explore being in their body. It also allows you the space and time to focus on yourself in this unique way. It can feel scary to do or try yoga and be in your body. I promise I will be there to guide you. No matter what you’re thinking, feeling, or fearing,. I am dedicated to creating a safe space for you to reconnect with your body in the most positive way possible so that you experience your mind body as sources of strength. Each session may include a combination of talking, yoga poses, breathing exercises, mental techniques, meditation, relaxation, and lifestyle education. Our work together will be goal oriented to support you in your efforts to practice and test out new yoga-based tools in your recovery and life in general. 

the goal of yoga therapy for eating disorders is to create tools and practices to help you address the here and now. Additionally, unlike traditional forms of treatment and therapy for eating disorders, we will not be narrowly focused on food or your specific symptoms. Instead, we will broaden the realm of recovery and healing beyond those topics to cultivate resilience and infuse your recovery with new energy, concepts, and motivation. 

Free Meet and Greet Call

If you are curious about any services let’s connect on a free 15 -minute discovery call. There’s so much to discover and new tools to support your ongoing relationship with your body and self. I will gladly answer all of your questions during our call, and we will discover the best way I can support you going forward.

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